New York Dog Walkers – I salute you.

In my lifetime, I’ve walked many dogs.  I had my own dog growing up, used to volunteer at the Animal Haven in Soho, and would occasionally dog sit for my friends.  I know that feeling of clipping on the leash and seeing your dogs tail go crazy in excitement.  But so many of us, especially in New York, need help with our dogs.  We can’t be home for every time the dogs needs to go out and do his business.  What’s more, folks want to make sure their dogs can stretch their legs and get some good exercise.  So – we hire dog walkers.

Lots of folks look at dog walking as the perfect job.  It’s straight forward, the pay can be good and the obvious – you get to be around dogs all day.  But after living the life of a full time dog walker for just one day, I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT EASY.  It’s not easy being a dog walker for a number of reasons.

  1. There’s a lot to remember.  It’s not as simple as “Walk a dog.”  Keys, pass-codes,  which elevator to take, dog personalities, which dog gets what feeding at what time, paperwork – there’s a lot going on.   I get tense just thinking about it.  After my first day, just being able to keep track of my own schedule and make sure I wasn’t forgetting the important details for every dog was starting to melt my brain.  I’m sure it gets easier over time and the more regular your schedule becomes, the better, but still – getting every little detail right takes a thoughtful person.
  2. Time off doesn’t come easy.  In sickness and in health, in blizzard and in heat – the show must go on.  The dog must be walked.  Paying clients expect their dog walkers to show up in all sorts of conditions.  That’s why they pay them.  Of course good clients don’t abuse their walkers, but there’s still a responsibility that each walker has to their client to always be there.  Besides trust, reliability is one of the more important traits of a good dog walker.  If your’e a walker, you can’t just call in sick whenever you want without making an effort to give your client other options.  You can’t make the dog NOT need to go potty.  That’s a crime against nature!
  3. The stakes are high.  Especially in neighborhoods with a lot of dogs, dog walking can be a competitive business.  So if you mess up or fail to meet your clients expectations of being on time, sending updates and doing honest work – dog owners can easily take their business elsewhere.  And if your reputation goes bust, it might be hard to win that back.  Who knows how much bad ratings will affect your ability to get more clients.  

After a full day of dog walking, I gotta say – I myself am DOG tired.  My feet are sore, and I’m already a seasoned New York pedestrian!  Still, I’m thrilled that I’m getting to do something I love and the dogs that I walked today are SO great.  SO GREAT.  I’m writing this just to make sure more people realize that being a dog walker is tough work.  It’s a real job that take a good person that’s trustworthy, can think on their feet and knows how to be responsible for a living, breathing thing.

So the next time you see your dog walker, say to them, “Thanks for taking such good care of my dog.  My dog and I are thankful that you’re around.”

Thanks for reading!


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Westminster Kennel Club 137th Annual Dog Show – My Quick Visit

A good friend of mine scored tickets to the Westminster Dog Show this year, so when she asked if I wanted to go, of course I said, ‘YES!  FUN!’ [enthusiasm]

But alas, by the time we arrived, a lot of the events had already finished so we only got to see a handful of dogs.   It was a little disappointing  because I really wanted to see the handlers, wearing their beautiful suits, glide across the velvety carpet with their perfectly groomed dogs.  Even so, I still had a blast meeting a few dogs that stuck around to the last hour.

My favorite discovery was learning that not only are these dogs well trained and fabulously groomed, they also had really great personalities.  I like to think that’s part of the criteria for being Best In Show.  The dog doesn’t just need to perform well on the day of the competition, but it has to be a great dog all around.  Personality, looks, physique – the whole kit and caboodle.  And I’m sure these dogs wouldn’t be so great, unless they had really great masters to take such good care of them.

Dogs bring us so much joy, but they’re also a lot of work.  I can only imagine the effort these handlers put into these competitions.  The time, the money, the emotional investment – it’s a lot to put in.  But I’m sure that most of these competitors do it out of love for their dogs and after all the sweat and tears – still feel greatly rewarded, even if they don’t win that first prize ribbon.

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Do dogs need winter coats? Sweaters?

Walking along 59th street towards Central Park, a dog with a bright blue sweater and matching booties walked past.  A safe distance away, my friend blurted, “Why do dog owners torture their dogs by dressing them up like that!?  The dog must feel utterly humiliated!”  I guess his rational is that dogs aren’t like people, and were designed to not need clothes.

Since today was the first day of the year when I felt my nose hairs freeze up and my teeth ache from the wind chill, I wondered – “Do dogs really need coats and sweaters in the winter?”  So I did a little research and it turns out that some dogs actually do benefit from having a coat or sweater to keep them warm.  What I found makes total sense.

Dogs that are small and have really short hair benefit more from wearing winter coats and sweaters.  Chihuahuas, Daschunds and even Greyhounds are breeds that lose their body heat faster than the average dog.  Puppies are also more susceptible to the cold.  If your dogs is shivering a lot and suddenly stops – THAT’s something to be concerned about. But a Husky wearing a turtleneck is probably a little over the top.  What do you think Mr. Jobs?

Steve Dogs

I know Apple isn’t the same without me.

Unless you’re making them wear one in really high temperatures, putting on an extra layer for warmth probably won’t harm the dog, so if it makes you feel better to play it safe and don’t mind the extra steps before going on your nightly walk, looks like it’s okay.  Still, I might avoid going overboard.  Exhibit A.

A Christmas Story Snow Suit

Imagine if a dog couldn’t ‘put his arms down.’ HIs belly laying flat on the ground.

Also, older dogs, especially ones with arthritis, suffer from the cold much more than younger ones with healthy joints.  So if you have an older dog, in addition to the outdoor coat, one might even consider getting them a heated dog bed or tucking them in with an extra blanket and after the goodnight belly rub.  Or I guess one could try one of these?  Hmmmm.

dog snuggie

Is she knitting him a sweater to wear over his Snuggie?

Especially when it snows, as much as dog booties make me giggle, they can protect your dog from tracking in salt that could contain impurities that you don’t want to be licked off their paws.  I mean – I’m Asian, so I guess I would even make a dog take off their shoes before letting them into my apartment.  There’s GOT to be a command that gets a dog to wipe their feet before coming into the house.  Anyone seen it?

Thanks for reading!

If you’re looking for local New York dog community that share pet sitting favors and like the idea of a play date, why not check out Waggit?

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Look at those baby blues.


Gorby Photo

What cha thinkin, Gorby?

Gorby, meet everyone. Everyone, meet Gorby – Waggit’s dog of the week.

Gorby’s a Mini Australian Shepard that lives in Noho. He’s super well behaved and one of our favorite dogs on Waggit.

Mini-Aussie Shepards are hard working, smart and athletic. I wonder if they bark with an Aussie accent. Woof or Wuuf? Hmmm.

Ever want a puppy to follow you home?

Like lots of kids, I always wanted a puppy to follow me home.  Using my imagination, I’d picture a happy puppy with floppy ears, curiously walking behind me, stopping when I stopped, following my every move until I arrived home.  Then he’d look up at me with those puppy dog eyes until I swooped him up and held him close in my arms.  I’d then use those same puppy dog eyes on my parents and sweetly ask, “Can we keep him?”

I realize this is a cat, but you get the picture.

Puss n Boots

‘Purrrty please?” [blink blink]

Another one of my favorite memories growing up was watching Lady and the Tramp.   I wanted a puppy just like Lady to jump out of a perfectly wrapped box, start licking my face and then I’d start petting her super soft ears.  Oh, the blissful feeling!  Remember the scene when Lady is a puppy and she so desperately climbs the stairs so that she can sleep with her Masters?  I must have watched that movie a million times.

Here’s a heartwarming photo of a puppy that followed this solider in Afghanistan for miles before he was finally picked up and put in the soldiers pouch.

Puppy Soldier

“After following the Marines numerous miles, a soft hearted Marine picked the puppy up and carried the puppy in his drop pouch.” by Kevin Hanrahan

What it is about puppies that make us so attached to them?  Or on the flip side, what is it about people that make puppies so attached to us?

It’s a loaded question, but I’m sure there are some folks out there that know what I’m talking about.  If you have stories or can think of reasons why we love our dogs so much, would love to hear them!  Tweet at us @getwaggit


A Case for Dogs

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A Dog Holiday Party – Deck the Balls

Deck the balls with rows-of-pup-pies, fa la la la la-lalalalaaa!   We’re so happy our holiday party was a hit!


Biscuit and Dakota pose with three ladies that can’t get enough of them. We asked for their autographs, too.

Last Saturday, Waggit and our pals from School for the Dogs held a jolly get-together at their training spot in the East Village neighborhood of New York.  Serving up some mini hotdog pastry puffs, sparkling apple cider, and a slew of dog friendly giveaways, humans with pinkies and dogs with paws had a great time hanging out, chatting about our dogs, and taking in some holiday cheer.  Dressed up in his festive red hoodie, Amos, the resident pup at School for the Dogs was a very gracious host.  Thanks for sharing your dog house with us, Amos!

Some of the many prizes were a Waggit t-shirt, a bottle of Hudson Valley Whiskey, a 3-month Barkbox subscription, and free dog-training lessons by Anna Grossman, lead trainer at School for the Dogs.  Not too shabby, if you ask us!  We also gave out bags of Old Mother Hubbard Dog treats.  Did you know that over 80 years ago, Old Mother Hubbard was originally made for sailors, but ended up being more popular as a treat for dogs?  I guess that means the treats really ARE good enough to eat!  If you don’t believe us, read more about the Old Mother Hubbard story here.

Old Mother Hubbard, BarkBox and Waggit sharing some holiday joy.  Oh, don't forget the poop bags.

Old Mother Hubbard, BarkBox and Waggit sharing some holiday joy. Oh, don’t forget the poop bags.

One of the highlights of the party was when Anna shared her dog training expertise in positive reinforcement.  The combination of treats and repetition taught Amos how to use an iPAD!


Amos using an iPad to answer some “Yes” or “No” questions.  “Hey Amos, am I the prettiest girl in the entire world?” Despite his sometimes brutal answers, we know they were 100% honest.

For more pictures from the Deck the Balls Party, come like our Waggit facebook page. We promise to brighten up your day with cute and uplifting dog photos.  It’s also a great way to keep up with all that’s going on in the world of Waggit.

Anyone interested in another party around Valentines Day?  Craving some puppy luv?  Let us know and we’ll make it happen.

Happy Holidays!

East Village Holiday Dog Party


East Village Holiday Dog Party

Celebrate the holidays and get some free dog training tips at School for the Dogs.

Giveaways, prizes, food and best of all – friends that love dogs will be waiting.

Dogs optional 😀

School for the Dogs is at 3rd Ave btn 17th and 18th St.